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The Emerson Arcadia 2001 is loaded with me too knock-offs of many classic arcade and Atari 2600 games, and some of them actually offer up something different. Breakaway is on the surface a Break Out! clone, and, well, it is. However, upon exploring its game settings, there are some cool variations on the formula. On the surface, though, yeah... Break Out!...

So, the first set of options allows you to play with a smaller paddle. Pretty standard and simple. Second set of options makes the bricks you break invisible, which adds another layer of challenge. It's an okay diversion, but nothing that'll pull you away from Arkanoid. There are game variations that allow you to catch the ball, control the ball, or make it so that the ball continues through bricks until it hits the ceiling. All pretty cool, but nothing you can't find elsewhere. Where it gets cool is variants 5-16.

These variants are head to head, and each player has a paddle guarding a wall of bricks. The game has a 5 minute limit, and is played for who can score the most points in that limit. It can use all of the same alternate rules like catching and such, but have even more variations, such as your paddle itself slowly disintigrating with contact, two split paddles on each side, and even the computer controlling the opponent for single player practice. Playing 2 player is a blast, and easily the high point of the experience.

There may be nothing utterly unique about Breakaway, but it is a strong Arkanoid-style experience, and one of the more enjoyable games I've played on the Arcadia. The control would be cooler with a dial/paddle controller, but at least holding a button on the keypad will let you speed up... but it just isn't as precise as a paddle. Still, if you do play the Arcadia, it's a great 2 player game, and there's always room for Break Out!, right?

Played it?